Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot


Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

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I don’t tend to buy many pre-made sauces because I want to limit the amount of half opened jars in my fridge and also I haven’t found many pre-made sauces that I haven’t been able to re-create or liked enough to keep around. UNTIL my mom introduced me to the Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce. She learned this recipe from one of her church friends. My mind was blown the first time she ever made this for us. I could eat this dish all day, everyday, the saucier the better! I always hoped she would double the recipe every time she made it. There were never any leftovers. This dish goes so well over rice or sautéed with some thick noodles. Mmm mmmm. You can even change it up and stir-fry it with some onion and bell peppers if you’re not a huge fan of carrots.

Because this recipe is based on a pre-made sauce, it’s incredibly easy and cooks up quickly – perfect if you haven’t got much time.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1kg (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned (or thickly grated to save time)
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.

In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.

In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.

Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Stir-Fry Black Pepper Beef & Carrot

Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15mins | Cook time: 15mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~3.5 cups) steak, sliced into strips (any stir-fry steak will do: rump, flank, skirt)
  • 1.5 tsps cornstarch
  • 6 cups (~4-5 large) carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 jar (~1/2 cup) of Lee Kum Kee black pepper sauce

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix the steak strips and cornstarch together until combined.
  2. In a wok, over medium-high heat, sear the steak strips until they’re browned on the outside (~1-2 mins). Remove the steak into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In the same wok, still over medium-high heat, add the carrots and stir-fry it with the leftover oil from the steak for 4-5 mins until they’re slightly soft.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium and add in the steak and black pepper sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined for another 2 mins. Taste and add more black pepper sauce if needed or some water if too strong. If you have too much liquid or if you prefer the sauce to be thicker, remove a few tablespoons of liquid from the wok into a small bowl and mix in half a tablespoon of cornstarch then add the mixture back into the wok and stir it until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, noodles or as a side dish. Enjoy!

Taiwanese Ground Pork with Pickled Cucumbers 瓜子肉 (Guā Zǐ Ròu)


Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 30mins

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Gua zi rou 瓜子肉 is a ridiculously easy dish my mom made quite often when I was growing up. It’s a Taiwanese dish in origin similar to the ever popular Lu Rou Fan (marinated pork over rice) but requires way fewer ingredients and is so much faster to make. It’s not a dish that you’d see commonly sold in Taiwan and I’m not sure why – my guess is that the Lu Rou Fan outshines it and it is also such a simple dish to make yourself at home 🤷🏻‍♀️. I didn’t even know how easy it was to make until recently when I was suddenly craving it and called up my mom for her recipe. I always thought it took her hours of effort due to the delicious rich umami flavours, but it’s as easy as opening up a can, chopping, and simmering. Best of all, it can all be done in one pot for easy clean up!

Gua zi rou directly translates to “melon/cucumber meat” which is exactly what this dish is made of: minced pork and Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜). These two ingredients are simmered over half an hour and you end up with a salty mix of meat and slightly crunchy cucumber in a rich liquid sauce to drizzle over a warm bed of rice.

There is no doubt many brands out there, but the brand of Chinese cucumbers I’ve grown up with since a child is pictured below. Don’t ask me what the difference between the brands are, but this is the one I most often see at the shops and the one our family has been buying for ages – it just feels wrong to buy any other brand now. We call them jiang gua/醬瓜 and commonly eat it as an accompaniment to congee. They’re essentially pickled cucumbers (pickles), but instead of marinating it in vinegar as is common in the Western world, these are marinated in soy sauce, sugar and vinegar to make a salty/sweet/slightly tangy bomb of flavour.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 500 ground pork
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 jar of Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜)
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice – for serving (optional)

Directions:

Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with the ground pork. Set aside.

Strain the jar of pickled cucumbers, reserving the liquid. Finely dice the pickled cucumbers (you can use a food processor here to save some time).

In a wok over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the white part of the green onion for 30 seconds until fragrant (optional). Then add in the ground pork, diced pickled cucumbers, and the reserved pickled juice. Mix it all up, put a lid on the wok and let it gently simmer for half an hour, intermittently stirring.

(While you’re waiting for the pork to simmer, you can cook your rice now. Your pork should be done when the rice is cooked.)

After half an hour, taste and adjust saltiness as needed. If it’s too salty, add some water. If it’s not salty enough, add some soy sauce (I usually don’t add anything additional, but to each their own taste). Serve warm over rice. Enjoy!

*Remember: the pork and the sauce is supposed to be salty and meant to be eaten over warm rice to dilute out the salt, so keep that in mind when adjusting the saltiness!

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Ground Pork with Pickled Cucumbers 瓜子肉 (Guā Zǐ Ròu)

Date Published: January 17th, 2020 | Last Updated: January 17th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 10mins | Cook time: 30mins

Ingredients:

  • 500 ground pork
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 jar of Chinese pickled cucumbers (jiang gua/醬瓜)
  • 1/3 cup green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Cooked rice – for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with the ground pork. Set aside.
  2. Strain the jar of pickled cucumbers, reserving the liquid. Finely dice the pickled cucumbers (you can use a food processor here to save some time).
  3. In a wok over medium heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the white part of the green onion for 30 seconds until fragrant (optional). Then add in the ground pork, diced pickled cucumbers, and the reserved pickled juice. Mix it all up, put a lid on the wok and let it gently simmer for half an hour, intermittently stirring.
  4. (While you’re waiting for the pork to simmer, you can cook your rice now. Your pork should be done when the rice is cooked.)
  5. After half an hour, taste and adjust saltiness as needed. If it’s too salty, add some water. If it’s not salty enough, add some soy sauce (I usually don’t add anything additional, but to each their own taste). Serve warm over rice. Enjoy!

*Remember: the pork and the sauce is supposed to be salty and meant to be eaten over warm rice to dilute out the salt, so keep that in mind when adjusting the saltiness!

Cheesy Kimchi Pancake


Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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Yum. I love a good kimchi pancake, especially when there’s cheese! If you’re unfamiliar, kimchi is pickled cabbage and its a staple in Korean food. I’ll admit, I didn’t like kimchi initially, but over the years it grew on me. I still don’t love it enough to have cravings or want to eat mouthfuls of it on its own, but I LOVE it in a kimchi pancake. The batter ingredients tones down the bold flavour of the kimchi and the cheese mellows it out.

These pancakes are very quick and easy to make. They’re slightly crispy on the edges and soft on the inside laced with cheese. I’ve based the original recipe from My Korean Kitchen but I’ve put a twist on it and adapted it with some extra add-ins (read: cheese). The dipping sauce isn’t necessary, but it does give the pancake some extra flavour. You can also serve it up with some curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.

Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Cheesy Kimchi Pancake

Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

  1. Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.
  2. Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  4. Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

Flavour Bomb Beef


Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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At the start of the pandemic Toby and I started religiously watching Masterchef AU 2020. Neither of us had watched Masterchef before and neither of us watch much reality television. Perhaps it was the constant ads or perhaps it was the extra time we had on our hands from the pandemic, we got sucked in. At 7:30pm, 5 days a week, we were glued to the tv. We had a few favourite contestants on this show and Kanh is one of them. His dishes always looked so good with so much flavour on the show that I couldn’t wait to get his cookbook when it came out. His book definitely didn’t disappoint (although it’s a bit of a pain to navigate through the ebook version) and as expected, it’s full of amazing recipes with hilarious personal notes. This recipe is straight from Kanh Ong’s cookbook: A Gay Guy’s Guide to Life Love Food with a few tweaks in the methods and reorganizing of the ingredients. He calls it “Shaking Beef” in his book in reference to the shaking of the pan when you make it. We’ve made at least half a dozen dishes from his book but I think this may be our favourite!

This dish is a flavour BOMB. The beef tenderloin is marinated in a sweet dark sauce then seared on a hot pan for a caramelized outside and soft melt-in-your-mouth rare beef on the inside. The bold salty flavours of the beef is best paired with the pickled red onions and dipping sauce (also included in this recipe). I was skeptical at first, but the pickled red onions really makes a huge difference and brings the beef to the next level. This dish got rave reviews with our family and there were no empty plates!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.

Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.

Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.

Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.

We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.

Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Flavour Bomb Beef

Date Published: August 29th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 29th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, appetizer, Asian, sides
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 45 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • Marinade:
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 3 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsps dark soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp caster sugar
    • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 600g beef tenderloin/eye fillet, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and divided
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 large tomato
  • Handful of leafy greens (like watercress or lettuce) – optional
  • Pickled Red Onion:
    • 1 red onion, finely sliced
    • 2 Tbsps caster sugar
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) white vinegar
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tsps sea salt
    • 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Marinate the beef: Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl (garlic, oil, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, pinch of salt and pepper). Mix and marinate the beef pieces for at least 30mins or ideally overnight.
  2. Make the Pickled Red Onion: Mix the red onion, sugar and white vinegar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the Dipping Sauce: Add the salt, black pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cook the beef: You want to cook the beef in two batches to not crowd the pan. Heat a wok or skillet (ideally use a wok because this dish will splatter!) on HIGH heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in 1 tablespoon of crushed garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until lightly brown then add in half the amount of marinated beef to the pan and toss for 2-3 minutes until seared. In the last 15 seconds, add in half of the capsicum pieces and sauté. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the garlic, beef, and capsicum.
    • We’re aiming for med-rare with these beef pieces. Remove it from the pan when the outside is just cooked and still soft on the inside.
  5. Serving: Drain the pickled red onion mixture and discard the liquid. Serve the beef with some tomato slices, pickled red onion, dipping sauce, and some greens (like watercress or lettuce) for freshness. Done!

Chicken Lychee Thai Red Curry


Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This recipe was inspired by my favourite roast duck red curry from Nakorn Siam, a Thai restaurant in Balwyn where we used to live. Funny enough we’ve never actually eaten in the restaurant before. I was craving Thai food one day afterwork and Toby and I were too tired to cook or pick up food after long shifts so we decided to get delivery. I can never pass up a good Thai curry and even harder to ignore when there’s roast duck and lychee involved! Within half an hour our food had arrived and the aroma of the duck curry was amaaaaazing. I never would’ve thought to put lychee in a curry (or anything, really!) but it was SO GOOD. The creamy coconut milk cooked in the aromatic and slightly spicy red curry paste was everything I expected, but the sweetness from the juicy lychees was next level. I kept craving this dish and probably ordered it 4 more times within the month. We sadly never got to dine in at the restaurant because that was about the time COVID hit Melbourne but they were always so friendly when we would pick up our food. If you’re ever in the Balwyn area, I highly recommend you get the roast duck red curry!

This recipe is an homage to my beloved roast duck curry, minus the duck because I’m not quite that adventurous yet to attempt a roast duck, so I’ve used chicken. I’ve used my homemade Thai red curry paste for this recipe because in my opinion you just can’t beat fresh curry paste with fresh ingredients. This homemade paste isn’t as red as the canned versions so your curry won’t turn out very red but I promise it will be every bit as flavourful! This recipe is easily customizable and you can put in or take out whatever vegetables you like, but you should definitely keep the lychee in or substitute it for pineapple if you can’t get any lychee. I also love the crunch of the bamboo shoots in this curry so keep that in too 😜.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • Veg:
    • Handful of snow peas, washed
    • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, diced or sliced
    • 1 can (560g) bamboo shoots, drained
    • 1 can (567g) lychees, drained and roughly chopped
    • + anything else you like!
  • 3 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)

Directions:

In a non-stick skillet or wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic for a minute until fragrant.

Add in the chicken and cook until the outside becomes white/light brown. Don’t worry about fully cooking the chicken, it will finish cooking in the curry later. We just want them seared on the outside for now to lock in the juices. Remove from pan and set aside.

Clean your pan if there are chicken bits leftover, otherwise lower the heat to MED and add half a tablespoon of oil (if there is a lot of oil leftover from the chicken, skip the oil). Add the red curry paste and sauté the paste until aromatic and a little dry (~2-3 mins).

Next, add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and let it come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered then add in peas, capsicum, bamboo shoots, and chicken pieces and cook covered for another 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are done.

Add fish sauce to the pot and mix. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lychees. Done!! Serve with a side of jasmine rice.

Summarized Recipe:

Chicken Lychee Thai Red Curry

Date Published: August 28th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 28th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g chicken thighs, diced
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • Veg:
    • Handful of snow peas, washed
    • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum, diced or sliced
    • 1 can (560g) bamboo shoots, drained
    • 1 can (567g) lychees, drained and roughly chopped
    • + anything else you like!
  • 3 Tbsps fish sauce (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. In a non-stick skillet or wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a tablespoon of oil and sauté the garlic for a minute until fragrant. Add in the chicken and cook until the outside becomes white/light brown. Don’t worry about fully cooking the chicken, it will finish cooking in the curry later. We just want them seared on the outside for now to lock in the juices. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Clean your pan if there are chicken bits leftover, otherwise lower the heat to MED and add half a tablespoon of oil (if there is a lot of oil leftover from the chicken, skip the oil). Add the red curry paste and sauté the paste until aromatic and a little dry (~2-3 mins).
  3. Next, add in the chicken stock and coconut milk and let it come to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes uncovered then add in peas, capsicum, bamboo shoots, and chicken pieces and cook covered for another 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are done.
  4. Add fish sauce to the pot and mix. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lychees. Done!! Serve with a side of jasmine rice.

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Taiwanese, Asian
Serves: 6 patties (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per patty

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Toby enjoying a Taiwanese breakfast burger feat. the triangle sandwich!

Taiwanese people love breakfast food. When I say breakfast food, I don’t mean scrambled eggs, pancakes or eggs benedict. I mean Taiwanese breakfast food that can include dan bing (cheese crepes), oil sticks, white triangle sandwiches with pork floss, noodles and even breakfast burgers (yes, burgers for breakfast!) – all often served with a side of hot or cold soya bean milk or milk tea (always my preference). I’ll be honest and admit that I don’t often order burgers for breakfast in Taiwan because A) I always tend to sleep in when I can and miss breakfast and B) it’s just way too much food for me early in the morning. When Toby visited Taiwan for the first time in 2019, he saw someone order one and it looked so delicious that he wanted to try it himself. This burger BLEW. HIS. MIND. It was his new favourite breakfast item, even surpassing my personal favourite cheese dan bing. I forgot all about this burger until recently when I came upon on Lady&Pups blog while looking for some recipe inspo for this week’s menu. Despite her rant on Taiwan, she makes a mean breakfast burger, which is where this recipe originally came from. I’ve tweaked it a little and simplified the directions with some added personal notes on my experience with this recipe.

What makes Taiwanese breakfast burgers different from regular burgers? The construction of the burger is pretty similar: burger bun, lettuce, tomato, ketchup…etc., but the difference is all in the burger patty. These patties are packed with flavour and often made with ground pork or beef with carrots, onion and soy sauce. It kind of reminds me of the filling of a dumpling but with more intensity and grilled. It’s also commonly topped up with sweet mayonnaise and a fried egg. This recipe comes together pretty easy and quickly. Just chop, mix, form the patties and you’re good to start grilling! Stack the burger however you like and add or takeaway anything you fancy.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Burger patty:
    • 500g ground pork or beef
    • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
    • 2 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsps cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1/4 tsp five spice powder
  • Oil and butter for frying
  • Condiments:
  • To assemble:
    • Large eggs (1 per burger)
    • Hamburger buns
    • Lettuce
    • Cucumber
    • Thinly sliced tomato
    • + whatever else you prefer

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients for the burger patties in a bowl and mix until combined.

Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal balls (or 4 for larger patties) and flatten them to create patties. Use your thumb and make an impression in the middle of each patty (this helps the patty keep a flat shape and stops it from puffing up in the middle).

Heat a skillet on MEDIUM heat (or a grill) and add in a couple of teaspoons of oil and a small teaspoonful of butter. When the oil and butter starts sizzling, lower your patties into the pan and cook until both sides are browned (~3-5 mins on each side).

Remove the finished patties from the pan and use the leftover oil to fry the eggs.

Assemble the burger: bottom bun + lettuce + cucumber slices + beef patty + fried egg + dusting of white pepper + ketchup + sweet mayonnaise (spread on the top bun) + top bun. Feel free to take away or add more ingredients to your liking! Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Breakfast Burger

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Taiwanese, Asian
Serves: 6 patties (or 4 large ones) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per patty

Ingredients:

  • Burger patty:
    • 500g ground pork or beef
    • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped or grated
    • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
    • 2 1/2 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
    • 2 tsps cornstarch
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1/4 tsp five spice powder
  • Oil and butter for frying
  • Condiments:
  • To assemble:
    • Large eggs (1 per burger)
    • Hamburger buns
    • Lettuce
    • Cucumber
    • Thinly sliced tomato
    • + whatever else you prefer

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the burger patties in a bowl and mix until combined.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal balls (or 4 for larger patties) and flatten them to create patties. Use your thumb and make an impression in the middle of each patty (this helps the patty keep a flat shape and stops it from puffing up in the middle).
  3. Heat a skillet on MEDIUM heat (or a grill) and add in a couple of teaspoons of oil and a small teaspoonful of butter. When the oil and butter starts sizzling, lower your patties into the pan and cook until both sides are browned (~3-5 mins on each side).
  4. Remove the finished patties from the pan and use the leftover oil to fry the eggs.
  5. Assemble the burger: bottom bun + lettuce + cucumber slices + beef patty + fried egg + dusting of white pepper + ketchup + sweet mayonnaise (spread on the top bun) + top bun. Feel free to take away or add more ingredients to your liking! Done!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: appetizers, snacks, Asian
Serves: 12 spring rolls | Prep time: 20 mins mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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I don’t love deep-frying things at home, but I sure do love spring rolls, especially with a good dipping sauce or tossed in a bùn bowl (Vietnamese vermicelli salad) with a good nuoc mam. Mmmmmm… This spring rolls recipe is adapted from Sarah Tiong’s cookbook: Sweet, Savoury, Spicy – you might’ve seen me mention her book before in a couple other posts. Sarah was my favourite Masterchef AU 2020 contestant and I encourage you to check out her book – it’s full of amazing recipes. Girl’s got a talent for packing in big bold flavours!

The original recipe called for rice paper wrappers which creates a slightly crispy but also chewier texture compared to the regular spring roll wrappers that are much crispier. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I included both methods in this recipe so you can choose for yourself 😜. Toby prefers the original spring roll wrappers but I’m still torn.

These spring rolls call for the classic pork and prawn combo, but feel free to change it up to a different protein of your choice or add in some rice noodles or black fungus to bulk it up. This recipe seems complicated, but it’s actually pretty easy. Just chop and mix everything up in a bowl and you’re ready to wrap! I actually really love wrapping spring rolls. I find them more fun and less room for error than dumplings 😂. Toby actually wrapped these ones in the photos – pretty pro, eh?

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Filling:
    • 8 fresh large prawns (140g), shelled, deveined, tails removed and meat coarsely chopped
    • 250g fatty ground pork (more fat = juicier spring roll)
    • 2 large red Asian shallots or 1 small brown or yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsps (30 ml) fish sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tbsp (9 g) cornstarch
  • Wrappers:
    • If using rice paper wrappers:
      • 12 rice paper wrappers
      • 1 cup warm water
      • 2 tsps sugar
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • 12 spring roll wrappers
      • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

Mix all of the filling ingredients into a bowl until combined: prawns, pork, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, salt, egg, and cornstarch. Set aside.

Assemble the spring roll:

If using rice paper rolls:

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and pour it into a large bowl. Dunk a sheet of rice paper in the sugar water and quickly remove it, shaking off any excess water. You only want to wet it. It will get softer and softer as you wrap your spring roll.

Place the rice paper on a plate then place 2 tablespoons of the filling centred in the bottom third of the wrap. Fold in the left and right sides over the filling then fold up the bottom edge over the filling, tucking the bottom edge under the filling. Roll upwards until you reach the top. Repeat until all the filling has been wrapped.

Let all the spring rolls air-dry for 15 minutes (you can use paper towels to soak up any excess moisture). You can also fold these a few hours in advance and refrigerate for a few hours until they dry out.

If using spring roll wrappers:

Place a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface diagonally with a corner facing you. Add 2 tablespoons of the filling near the corner closest to you. Fold the left and right sides in over the filling. Brush the top third of the wrapper with the beaten egg then start rolling the wrapper with the filling from the bottom upwards. The egg helps seal the spring roll wrapper together.

Fry the spring rolls:

Fill half a saucepan with a neutral oil and heat it to 175˚C. Fry a few spring rolls at a time to not crowd the pan until golden brown and turning occasionally (~2-3 mins for rice paper rolls, 3-4 mins for spring rolls). Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Serve.

Summarized Recipe:

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: appetizers, snacks, Asian
Serves: 12 spring rolls | Prep time: 20 mins mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
    • 8 fresh large prawns (140g), shelled, deveined, tails removed and meat coarsely chopped
    • 250g fatty ground pork (more fat = juicier)
    • 2 large red Asian shallots or 1 small brown or yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsps (30 ml) fish sauce
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tbsp (9 g) cornstarch
  • Wrappers:
    • If using rice paper wrappers:
      • 12 rice paper wrappers
      • 1 cup warm water
      • 2 tsps sugar
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • 12 spring roll wrappers
      • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients into a bowl until combined: prawns, pork, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, salt, egg, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the spring roll:
    • If using rice paper rolls:
      • Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and pour it into a large bowl.
      • Dunk a sheet of rice paper in the sugar water and quickly remove it, shaking off any excess water. Place the rice paper on a plate then place 2 tablespoons of the filling centred in the bottom third of the wrap. Fold in the left and right sides over the filling then fold up the bottom edge over the filling, tucking the bottom edge under the filling. Roll upwards until you reach the top. Repeat until all the filling has been wrapped.
      • Let all the spring rolls air-dry for 15 minutes (you can use paper towels to soak up any excess moisture). You can also fold these a few hours in advance and refrigerate for a few hours until they dry out.
    • If using spring roll wrappers:
      • Place a spring roll wrapper on a plate diagonally with a corner facing you. Add 2 tablespoons of the filling near the corner closest to you. Fold the left and right sides in over the filling. Brush the top third of the wrapper with the beaten egg then start rolling the wrapper with the filling from the bottom upwards. The egg helps seal the spring roll wrapper together.
  3. Fry the spring rolls:
    1. Fill half a saucepan with a neutral oil and heat it to 175˚C. Fry a few spring rolls at a time to not crowd the pan until golden brown and turning occasionally (~2-3 mins for rice paper rolls, 3-4 mins for spring rolls). Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Serve.

Red Curry Satay Sauce


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, dips, Asian
Serves: roughly 1 cup | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

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There are few things in the world better than a good creamy peanut satay sauce and when you pair it with coconut milk and red curry paste? Ohhhh boy. Get your tastebuds ready for a flavour explosion! This recipe uses the homemade red curry chilli paste recipe for a bold and fresh flavour. Depending on how much you make your curry paste, this satay sauce can add a kick! Use the leftovers mixed with cold noodles for a quick lunch or save it for a dip with spring rolls or prawn toast. You’re only 5 minutes away from making this delicious red curry satay sauce!

Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 330ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water
  • 2 Tbsps homemade red curry paste 
  • 3/4 cup (180g) peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsps white sugar
  • 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a saucepan on LOW-MED heat, add in all of the ingredients and stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Done! Easy, huh?

If the sauce is too thick for you, add in a little bit of water until you reach your desired consistency.

Summarized Recipe:

Red Curry Satay Sauce

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, dips, Asian
Serves: roughly 1 cup | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 330ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water
  • 2 Tbsps homemade red curry paste 
  • 3/4 cup (180g) peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsps white sugar
  • 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan on LOW-MED heat, add in all of the ingredients and stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Done!
  • Note: If the sauce is too thick for you, add in a little bit of water until you reach your desired consistency.

Green Curry Prawn Toast


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, appetizer, Asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Jump to recipe |

I’ve surprisingly never had prawn toast until recently. I saw a couple recipes from the new cookbooks of my favourite Masterchef contestants, Sarah Tiong and Kanh Ong and decided to give them a try. This recipe is an adaptation from Kanh’s green curry prawn toast recipe and uses the homemade Thai green curry paste. Although I’m not sure what real prawn toast is supposed to taste like since I’ve never had one from a restaurant before, but Toby and his family tells me they used to have it all the time at their old go-to Chinese restaurant and this version is much better! These prawn toasts don’t taste quite like a Thai green curry because there’s no coconut milk, but they do have the beautiful aromatics from the homemade green curry paste that really shine through with every bite. It’s even better when paired with a mayo-based dipping sauce such as curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

As long as you’ve got the curry paste made up, this recipe is SO simple and comes together quickly. You will however need to deep-fry these. I don’t frequently like to deep-fry things at home, but when I do I like to make the best use of the oil by making multiple things with it before tossing it out such as pork and prawn spring rolls! You can also make a big batch beforehand and serve it as an appetizer or a snack for a party.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 250g raw prawn meat
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 spring onion (optional)
  • 4 slices of sourdough or regular white bread
  • Sesame seeds for dipping

Directions:

In a food processor, add the prawn meat, egg white, sesame oil, green curry paste, salt, white pepper, spring onion, and garlic. Pulse until you get a thick paste.

Divide and spread the paste equally on the 4 slices of sourdough. If the paste is runny, put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up.

Place sesame seeds on a plate and dip the bread (prawn side down) onto the sesame seeds.

Fill a saucepan 1/3 up with neutral oil and heat the oil until it reaches 180˚C (or when a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds). Place the prawn toast prawn side down (it might be easier to lower it prawn side up first then flip it around in the oil to minimize splashing) into the oil and fry for 2-4 minutes until golden then flip and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel.

Serve! Ideally serve with curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

Summarized Recipe:

Green Curry Prawn Toast

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: snacks, easy, appetizer, Asian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 250g raw prawn meat
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 tsps sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup homemade Thai green curry paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 spring onion (optional)
  • 4 slices of sourdough or regular white bread
  • Sesame seeds for dipping

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add the prawn meat, egg white, sesame oil, green curry paste, salt, white pepper, spring onion, and garlic. Pulse until you get a thick paste.
  2. Divide and spread the paste equally on the 4 slices of sourdough. If the paste is runny, put it in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up.
  3. Place sesame seeds on a plate and dip the bread (prawn side down) onto the sesame seeds.
  4. Fill a saucepan 1/3 up with neutral oil and heat the oil until it reaches 180˚C (or when a cube of bread turns brown in 15 seconds). Place the prawn toast prawn side down (it might be easier to lower it prawn side up first then flip it around in the oil to minimize splashing) into the oil and fry for 2-4 minutes until golden then flip and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel.
  5. Serve! Ideally serve with curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

Tzatziki


Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

Jump to recipe |

Tzatziki tzatziki. It’s so simple and so good. My dill plants had been struggling on my balcony over the winter months so I wasn’t able to make this recipe for ages, but now that we’ve moved onto the farm with plenty of space and sunshine, the dill plant here has gone wild! This dip is so refreshing with the cucumber, lemon and dill. Our favourite way to eat this is slathered between two burger buns in a beef patty to make a quick Greek burger but its also fantastic on its own as a dip with bread or veggies.

This is a make-ahead recipe. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up this recipe but the full potential of the flavours don’t come out until it’s refrigerated for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. This dip needs time for the flavours to marinate and work themselves out. It sounds a bit crazy but trust me. The first time I made this dip I spent over 20 minutes adding a little more of this and that and it still never seemed quite right. I ended up putting it away and when I revisited it the next morning, it was AMAZING! I was surprised how everything just fixed itself overnight. Now when I make this sauce I don’t even bother with adjusting the flavours until the next day, after its had time to sort itself out.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.

The salt in the dip will draw out the water in the cucumber and result in a wet sloppy tzatziki which is why it’s so important to squeeze out as much water as you can at the start.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Tzatziki

Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. (Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together.) Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!